Vanessa van den Boogaard

Research Fellow, International Centre for Tax and Development
at the Institute of Development Studies

Senior Research Associate, University of Toronto

Blogs and media

New evidence from Somalia points to effective ways to deliver public services in conflict-affected and fragile contexts, Africa Portal, 22 October 2021.

Les Marocains accepteraient-ils un fonds d'État pour la zakat? / Would Moroccans accept a state zakat fund? Should they? Medias 24/ ICTD, 22 October 2021. With Max Gallien, Umair Javed, and Soukayna Remmal.

Women don't value their own work, India Development Review, 17 December 2020. With Aiman Haque and Max Gallien.

The inequity of informal financing of public education in Sierra Leone, ICTD, 27 November 2020.

Building coalitions to promote equitable taxation beyond the Covid era, ICTD and the International Budget Partnership, 7 July 2020. With Jason Lakin and Paolo de Renzio.

How can civil society help to achieve more equitable and accountable tax systems? / En quoi la société civile peut-elle contribuer à la mise en place de systèmes fiscaux plus équitables et plus responsables? ICTD, 8 June 2020.

Unpacking formalisation: The need for a new research agenda on taxation and the informal economy / Déballage sur la formalisation: nécessité d'un nouveau programme de recherche sur la fiscalité et l'économie informelle, ICTD, 21 April 2020. With Max Gallien.

To fight COVID-19, only the formal economy is getting tax breaks. The informal economy may be asked to foot the bill / Pour lutter contre la Covid-19, seule l'économie formelle bénéfice des allègements fiscaux. L'économie informelle pourrait être appelée à régler l'addition, ICTD, 8 April 2020. With Max Gallien.

Fill the gaps, feel the pain: Insights from Sierra Leone on an epidemic's impact on local taxation, public services, and the poor, African Arguments, 25 March 2020.

The political economy of tax incentives in low-income countries, ICTD, 14 January 2013.

Seminars and invited lectures

"The informal sector and informal taxes." FCDO Tax and Development seminar series, 14 July 2021 (virtual).

"Informal taxation and community-driven development: Evidence from south-central Somalia." CMI Tax for Development Webinar, 11 May 2021 (virtual).

"Equity implications of the co-provision of public education in Sierra Leone". NORRAG Domestic Financing: Tax and Education launch event, 23 November 2020 (virtual).

"Informal workers and the state: The politics of connection and disconnection during a global pandemic". With Max Gallien. Deutsches Institut für Entwicklungspolitik (German Development Institute) Social Cohesion Week, 10 November 2020 (virtual).

"Tax, gender, and Covid-19". African Tax Administration Forum 4th High-Level Tax Policy Dialogue, 27 August 2020 (virtual). In the linked video, panel begins at 2:14:00; presentation begins at 2:32:00.

"The Covid-19 crisis facing informal workers — what can be done?" Institute of Development Studies seminar, 15 July 2020 (virtual).

"Covid-19 and the informal economy: Responses, relief and reach". ICTD and IDS seminar, 16 April 2020 (virtual).

"Do poor people pay tax? How public goods and services are actually financed in Africa?" United Kingdom Department for International Development internal seminar, 3 June 2019 (London).

"Gender, taxation and development: Building fair, equitable and accountable tax systems in low-income countries". With Wilson Prichard. Global Affairs Canada internal seminar, 1 May 2019 (Ottawa).

"The effect of taxation on social mobilization and democratic governance". Electoral Institute for Sustainable Democracy in Africa Symposium, 2018 (Johannesburg).

"The reality of sub-national taxation in conflict-affected states: The incidence and implications of informal taxation". Institute on Municipal Finance and Governance Lecture, 2018 (Toronto).

"Informal taxation in Sierra Leone". Working Group in African Political Economy International Meeting, 2018 (Abu Dhabi).

"Methodological challenges of researching tax and gender". International Centre for Tax and Development Tax and Gender Colloquium, 2016 (Accra).

"Progressive taxation: Overview of research findings and implications for civil society engagement". International Centre for Tax and Development and Action Aid workshop, 2016 (Inhambane).

Conference presentations

International Studies Association (ISA) annual meeting

  • Planned 2022 (Nashville): "Why do armed groups tax?"

  • 2021 (virtual): "Informal taxation and community-driven development: Experimental evidence from south-central Somalia", "Informal revenue concessions as patrimonial resource distribution in Sierra Leone"

Zurich Conference on Public Finance in Developing Countries

  • Planned Dec 2021 (Zurich): "Co-financing community-driven development through informal taxation: Experimental evidence from south-central Somali"

African Studies Association (ASA) annual meeting

  • Planned Nov 2021 (virtual): "A tax by any other name: Conceptions and perceptions of taxation"

  • 2020 (virtual): "Hybrid outcomes of formal and informal taxation: Informal revenue generation as patrimonial resource distribution in Sierra Leone"

National Tax Association (NTA) annual conference

  • Planned Nov 2021 (virtual): "Co-financing community-driven development through informal taxation: Experimental evidence from south-central Somalia"

Middle East Studies Association (MESA) annual meeting

  • Planned Oct 2021 (Montreal): "Between tax, charity, and the state: Localizing zakat"

American Political Science Association (APSA) annual meeting

  • 2021 (virtual): "Between tax and charity: Zakat in times of Covid-19"

  • 2020 (virtual): "Informal tax institutions and statebuilding: Evidence from Sierra Leone"

Society for the Advancement of Socio-Economics (SASE) annual conference

  • 2021 (virtual): "Between tax and charity: Zakat in times of Covid-19", "Tracking Covid-19’s Impact on Tax in Africa: Formal and Informal Tax Burdens, Tax Attitudes, and the Reach of Tax Relief"

Development Studies Association (DSA) annual conference

  • 2021 (virtual): "Informal workers and the state: The politics of connection and disconnection", "Between tax and charity: Zakat in times of Covid-19"

Canadian Association of African Studies (CAAS) annual conference

  • 2021 (virtual): "Informal labour taxes in Sierra Leone in historical context: Shifting norms of the legitimacy of mandatory unpaid labour"

Centre for the Study of African Economies (CSAE), University of Oxford

  • 2021 (virtual): "Hybrid financing models, informal taxation, and community-driven development: Experimental evidence from south-central Somalia"

American Economic Association (AEA) annual meeting

  • 2021 (virtual): "Hybrid tax collection and public goods provision in Somalia: Building the state through informal revenue generation"

International Centre for Tax and Development (ICTD) Annual Centre Meeting

  • 2019 (Kigali): "The micro-links between taxation and accountability initiatives", "Informal taxation: Policy approaches and implications", "Informal taxation, accountability, and tax morale: Baseline findings from Somalia"

  • 2016 (Addis Ababa): "Informal taxation: What have we learned?"

  • 2014 (Arusha): "‘Real’ taxation in Sierra Leone"

  • 2013 (Lomé): "Researching informal taxation in Sierra Leone"

  • 2011 (Brighton): "Building effective tax systems in post-conflict states: Questions, challenges and trends"

The Economics of Informality Conference

  • 2018 (Bogotá): "Informal taxation in Sierra Leone: Magnitudes, perceptions and implications"

World Bank Fragility, Conflict and Violence Forum

  • 2016 (Washington, DC): "Informal Taxation, Fiscal Decentralization and Post-Conflict Institution Building"

International Peace Research Association Conference

  • 2016 (Freetown): "Informal taxation and post-conflict institution building"

United Nations University World Institute for Development Economics Research (UNU-WIDER) Symposium on Taxation and Revenue Mobilization in Developing Countries

  • 2016 (Helsinki): "Revenue mobilization in Conflict-Affected Developing Countries"

Households in Conflict Network (HiCN) conference

  • 2015 (Toronto): "Informal Taxation in Conflict-Affected States"

World Customs Organization PICARD conference

  • 2015 (Baku): "Profit, networks, and power: ‘Real’ governance and informality in cross- border trade in Sierra Leone"

African Tax Research Network (ATRN) Conference

  • 2015 (Cape Town): "Taxation and post-conflict state building: Exploring informal taxation and its implications in Sierra Leone"

European Conference of African Studies (ECAS)

  • 2015 (Paris): "Informal taxation in conflict-affected states"

Centre for Poverty Analysis Symposium on Post-war Development in Africa and Asia

  • 2014 (Colombo): "The pervasiveness and relative popularity of informal taxation in post- conflict Sierra Leone"

World Customs Organization Research Conference on Informality, International Trade, and Customs

  • 2013 (Brussels): "International trade and the politics of informal taxation in post-conflict Sierra Leone"